cardi b, woman, woman over a screenshot of a graph


‘A hoe never gets cold’: Researchers put the Cardi B meme to the test

One of the researchers posted a TikTok with their findings.


Cecilia Lenzen

Internet Culture

Posted on Nov 2, 2021   Updated on Nov 3, 2021, 10:18 am CDT

In 2014, a wise woman—also known as Cardi B—proclaimed, “A hoe never gets cold,” creating an instantly iconic meme. Now, it appears we have the research to back up her sage advice.

Hoes don’t get cold—or at least, women who self-objectify themselves don’t. 

Researchers have confirmed this in a scientific study titled, “When looking ‘hot’ means not feeling cold: Evidence that self-objectification inhibits feelings of being cold.” The study, published in the British Journal of Social Psychology in August, even referenced the “WAP” rapper. 

“This study tested self-objectification as a mechanism responsible for the muted awareness of bodily sensation demonstrated by Geordie girls and canonized by a quote from the iconic rapper Cardi B — ‘a ho never gets cold,’” the report stated. 

In other words, researchers looked into the relationship between self-objectification—when a person views themselves as an object to be looked at rather than a human—and feeling cold.

One of the study’s authors, Roxanne N. Felig, broke down “the Cardi B study” in a viral TikTok that has garnered 80,000 views since posting Thursday. Felig, known as Roxanne Nai’a or user @naia_papaia on the platform, is a social psychology graduate student at the University of South Florida and researches objectification theory. 

Objectification theory asserts that when women take an outsider’s perspective of their body and focus on how they appear externally, they have less cognitive resources available to appraise their internal state. Basically, when they focus on how “hot” they look, they aren’t focusing on how cold it is. 

To test this, Felig and her fellow researchers conducted a field study where they went to a busy part of town known for its nightlife and surveyed women who were waiting in line outside of clubs. The research happened in Florida during nights when the highest temperatures were in the 40s and 50s, Felig said.

The survey participants were asked how much they think about their physical appearance versus how they feel on a day-to-day basis. Other questions included how intoxicated the women felt and how many drinks they had. 

Then, Felig said the researchers recorded the actual temperature at the time of the surveys and then asked the participants how cold they felt. 

The researchers also took a full body photo, minus the face for anonymity, of each survey participant so that they could code for how much skin they had exposed. The prediction was that women with a high state of self-objectification wouldn’t feel cold, regardless of how much skin they had exposed. 

Basically, their hypothesis was “fully supported,” Felig said. 

“There is literally no relationship, the relationship was nonsignificant, between their amount of skin exposure and how cold they felt,” she said. “So it can be inferred that they’re too preoccupied with thinking about their external appearance to think about their internal sensations.” 

Science clearly has no limits, and TikTok viewers applauded Felig’s scientific endeavors. 

“Now this is what I mean when I say STEM,” one viewer commented. 

Another wrote, “This makes me so happy, now I can cite a study when I say ‘ho never gets cold.’”

The study only referenced women who self-objectify themselves, and it is unclear if men would also feel less cold when they feel “hot.” However, the study noted that women commonly self-objectify themselves due to society’s tendency to prioritize women’s physical appearances over other traits. 

Felig made sure to clarify in a comment on her TikTok video that she doesn’t think there is anything wrong with being “hot” and that she doesn’t like calling women “hoes.” She only did it as an intro for “the Cardi B study” because of the meme. 

Felig did not immediately respond to the Daily Dot’s request for comment. 

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*First Published: Nov 2, 2021, 6:53 pm CDT